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Gymnasts Victorious In Last Meet of Year

By Caitlin Dwyer-McNally

TEAM CAPTAIN

Winning isn’t everything, but it certainly feels good.

The MIT gymnastics team hosted a three-team meet against Springfield and the University of Vermont on March 1. It was a unique meet in that both the men’s and women’s teams from all three schools competed against each other. Since this competition was the last regular season meet for the women’s team, the seniors on the team were honored by their coaches and fellow teammates.

With their families and friends there to support them, they were put last in the line-ups of each event. All five seniors, Tanya I. Burka, Deborah J. Dryer, Caitlin P. Dwyer-McNally, M. Carrie Garceau and Lindsey L. Wolf have completed successful four-year athletic careers. There isn’t a better way to end a season than breaking a school record and beating a team that you’ve never beaten before.

The overall team mark fell for the fourth meet in a row and is now at 182.025.

MIT starts strong on vault

The lady Engineers started on vault, posting a solid score of 44.5 highlighted by sophomore Whitney E. Watson’s tuck tsuk, and sophomore Merritt S. Tam’s tucked yurchenko. Springfield led off on bars managing only a 42.425, while Vermont started with a bye.

The second rotation proved to be a turning point in the meet: MIT posted an all-time high score on the uneven bars with a 45.375. After many years of struggling on bars, it’s been nice to see the team put up consistent high scoring routines this year.

Senior Carrie Garceau increased the difficulty of her routine, and even after a “surprise” dismount scored 8.80. Ashley R. Rothenberg ’05 also displayed new skill, allowing her to post her season high at 9.275.

At the halfway point in the meet MIT led the competition with 89.875 to Vermont’s 88.525 and Springfield’s 88.30.

Floor goes well for MIT

The second half of the meet was just as exciting as the first half. MIT moved on to beam and Springfield to floor exercise; Vermont was on a bye. Whitney E. Watson ’05 led off for the Engineers and hit a solid routine, with a little extra spirit, posting a 9.275. Freshman Francesca E. Demeo, who has been very consistent this year, performed well on the beam for a score of 9.35. This pleased both her teammates and coaches as well as her fans from her former gym.

Merritt Tam put up the best routine of the meet, showing everyone exactly why she placed second at nationals on beam last year. Tam scored an impressive 9.70. The rest of the beam team counted one fall each, but helped the team towards a season high score on beam of 45.70. While MIT was on beam, the Springfield women were hitting their floor routines and tallied a 46.575 as Vermont finished on beam with a 44.875 score.

On the last rotation of the evening, Springfield missed more routines then they hit on beam and even though MIT did not have their best floor day, the team still came away with a 46.450 total. Junior Cindy Chung posted the highest floor score of the night with a 9.575. She now holds four out of the top 10 highest floor scores in MIT’s history. Tanya Burka also performed on the floor, using a dance piece she recently choreographed for a circus school audition.

The stage is set for a showdown at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference East Regional competition, which will be hosted by SUNY-Cortland on Friday, March 14 at 1 p.m. That meet will determine not only the conference and regional champions, but also the four teams advancing to the National Championships.